Hi there, my good friends. I hope you are all having a most wonderful week!
Or, as the Germans like to say “OH JAAAAAAA! Es ist FREITAG!”.
As I do everyday, I’m sitting here in my home office, working on my gigs.
I don’t call them “side gigs”, because the word “side” implies that, in addition to a full-time salaried job, I am working gigs “on the side”, to make a bit of extra cash. Currently, that is not the situation. All gigs are for me, and for me only. Nothing is on the side, but rather is primary … or main … or … ah hell, you know what I mean! All gig income goes into MY pocket. Not somebody elses pocket but … MY pocket!
Okay, the gov gets a share too. Can’t avoid that. Nonetheless, life is good. Especially so, since it’s …
FREITAG! OH JAAAAAAA!
So you may be wondering, what are these gigs that this dude speaks of?
In addition to blogging, drone photography, and playing the stock markets … I also design and program game apps for the iPhone. I refer to those as my “money-making gigs”. ( Well, the markets are not always “money-making”, but the last few years have been good. ). I also have a couple of “non-paying gigs”. One of them being, riding me motorcycle! OH JAAAAAAA!
Now, a little bit more about the iPhone gig. Currently, I’m working on a puzzle app. Sort of like a cross between Donkey Kong and the old mousetrap game. Do you remember the mousetrap game? Probably not. In any case, it involved gears and levers and springs, and other mechanical thingies, used to build a mousetrap. To pull in the cash, I’ll charge a couple bucks per download. If I can push out, say, 5, or more, games, I could potentially pull in some decent $$. At least, enough to pay the bills, and perhaps buy some stuff.
Oh … wait a minute … did I just say “STUFF”? AH HA! I knew there was a main topic that I would eventually get to! STUFF! As in …
Where’s my STUFF?!
The other day, I arrived home in my little Mini car, and pulled into the garage. I hopped out, and noticed something. There wasn’t much stuff in my garage. Hm. Most of my neighbors seem to have a lot of stuff. When I walk past one of their open garage doors, I can’t help but notice, the piles of stuff. Some of the garages are bursting at the seams. So much stuff! It’s almost cascading out onto the driveway and further onto the sidewalk. I had to find my way around all of that stuff, which is why I couldn’t help but notice.
While walking past, I thought to myself “Am I missing something? Shouldn’t I, also, have piles of stuff?”. I mean, that’s the American way, no?
I’m here at my little desk, at the moment, pecking away on the keyboard, writing this silly blog post. I look up and inspect the state of my living room. “Hm. Not so much stuff.”. Just a chair, a small couch, and a 10-year-old TV. ( 10 years old!? Holy crap! That’s not the American way. I should run out and buy the latest television! Get me some NEW stuff! ).
I go up the stairs, into my bedroom. I look around. There is a bed that I’ve owned for 20 years. Although, truth be told, the mattress is fairly new. After 15 years of good usage, it was getting a bit ratty. Also, there is a chest of drawers. “Hm. Not much else. Where’s the other stuff?”.
I look in the bedroom closet. I see just the few clothes that I actually wear. If there is something that I never wear, I donate it to charity. I don’t buy any new clothes until the ones I have are close to wearing out. I’m your typical guy, in that regard. As explained in the Seinfeld episode, most guys will wear a pair of underwear until it’s nothing but a few wispy threads, that blows away in the wind. That’s me.
That’s the way all of my purchases are made, actually. Before making a purchase, I carefully think it over. Only after I’ve determined that it will bring me sufficient usage and value, will I pull the lever. I never buy impulsively. And, only for convenience, do I buy using a credit card. At the end of each month, my credit card balance is automatically paid off.
Now, to be honest, I do have a bit of a particular kind of other stuff, that I haven’t mentioned yet. I like to call this “the good stuff”. This stuff is located in my bank accounts, in the form of liquid assets. Also known as, “Cold, hard cash, baby!”. There is also a bit of stuff in the form of stocks and bonds. Lately, that type of stuff, as the value of my stock increases, has been creating me more good stuff. I certainly don’t mind the accumulation of this type of stuff.
In the words of Jeff Spicoli “Hey Man! Good STUUUUF!”. Okay, that’s a different kind of good stuff, which I may write about in a future post.
So back to the topic at hand, Americans seem to acquire a lot of stuff. I drive past homes and I see boats, RVs, snowmobiles, several cars, and all sorts of other stuff. Also, HUUUUUGE houses. Unless you are wealthy, which I’m guessing many of these people are not, this type of stuff is not a wise investment. Even if you are wealthy, it’s not a wise investment, but at least they can afford it. They have plenty of the good stuff.
Yes, I know real estate is usually a good investment. That is, provided you don’t become mortgage poor. By mortgage poor, I mean spending a big chunk of your take-home pay on the monthly mortgage payment. This is unwise for several reasons, which perhaps I may also write about in a future post.
Wow, so many ideas popping up for future posts. Speaking of, if you’re diggin my words, please do hit that “subscribe” button < wink, wink >.
To wrap up, the point I’m trying to make with all of this talk about “stuff” is, much of the stuff that people buy is not a wise purchase. It’s not the “good stuff”. A piece of stuff, also known as a “thing”, is just like any other investment. You have to ensure you will derive enough value from the purchase, for it to be what I like to refer to as “a wise purchase”. Of course, emotional value is a valid type of value. If you feel the emotional value is enough to justify the purchase, then by all means, you should buy that stuff! I consider my motorcycle to be a wise purchase. Just keep in mind, if you buy on credit, the total cost of the purchase has gone up! In addition to the original purchase price, you now have interest to pay. Also, let’s not forget the lost opportunity to make some of the good stuff, in the form of investments. Yes, that’s correct. Every 10,000 dollars spent on a car is money that will not be making you more of the good stuff. People often forget about this when deciding to plunk down for the BMW, versus the Ford Focus. Interest, plus lost investment opportunity, equals “Holy crap! That’s expensive! Was that such a wise purchase?!”.
Alas, as to the answer to the original question “Where’s my STUFF!?” …
Except for my BB-8, I probably will never find it.
I’m okay with that.